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Grading Projects

The best way to describe grading is moving material from point A to point B by pushing or scraping. This material most often is soil but can be gravel or even mulch.

If you want to plant a new yard or a garden, you grade the land first and ensure it is relatively even. You don’t need it to be perfectly level because you may want to drain away from any structures on the property or toward a ditch.

Speaking of ditches, you can create your own ditches as part of a grading project.

We grade our gravel drive a few times a year to keep it driveable, ensuring there are no potholes or humps. When installing, we might add a crown to the drive or slope it from one side to the other to control water runoff.

For a parking pad for our trailers, we graded in two stages: first with a dozer blade on our skid steer for a rough grade, removing most of the topsoil, and creating a relatively flat area. Then, using our landscape rake on gauge wheels, we pulled the remaining soil to a very fine, even finish, so we could lay down our road fabric and have the gravel delivered.

Grading Attachments For Tractors

There are a host of tools to use for grading for both the front and rear of your tractor. Let’s go through them, starting with the rear.

3-Point Grading Attachments

Rear Grading Blades

Perhaps the simplest grading attachment, if not the simplest tool for tractors in general, is a Rear Blade—a curved moldboard that you lower to the ground to scrape and pull material. Certain models allow you to pivot the blade 180 degrees so you can push material instead of pulling.

Higher-end models have tilt and angle options, even hydraulically controlled.

If you tilt a blade, you can create a shallow ditch or swale, perfect for the side of a driveway. Some people even use their rear blades to plow snow in the winter.

Box Blades

Think of a Box Blade as a Rear Grading Blade with a box built around it, so you can trap the material you are scraping and pull it to your desired location. Box blades often have a front and rear-facing blade on the back, so you can drive forward or reverse and still scrape.

Box blades also have adjustable ripper shanks to really dig into, scarify, and loosen topsoil before scraping. A Roll Over Box Blade makes lowering and raising those scarifiers easy, with just the pull of a lever from the seat.

A specialty Box Blade we carry is called The Ditch Box, which is a box blade with a hydraulic plow that lowers into the ground and creates a ditch as you drive. Again, the box around it traps the dirt you’re removing and pulls it along with you until it’s full, or you’re at your discharge location.

Land Plane

For driveway maintenance, we recommend a Land Plane, a shallow box with two angled blades that does a fantastic job of automatically smoothing gravel as you drive. It is so simple to use, and incredibly effective at leveling a gravel surface. We’ve got these in all series for small subcompact tractors, to large utility tractors.

Landscape Rake

Big, spring tines comb the surface as you drive with a 3-Point Landscape Rake, but are aggressive enough to loosen a little dirt and pull it as you drive. Adding gauge wheels allows you to use your landscape rake as a fine grading tool, ensuring it won’t dig lower than your set height.

Rotary Tiller

A rototiller (rotary tiller) isn’t necessarily a grader but can be a great prep tool before grading. It allows you to mulch any hardpan first to make the relocation of that soil much easier with your rear blade, box blade, or bucket.


A heavy-duty tool made especially for loosening hardpan is called a Pulverizer. Cool name, right? It has ripper shanks and spiked rollers to shred packed, hard, ground and get it usable for planting or scraping.

Power Rake

A power rake is a spiked drum that removes the first couple of inches of topsoil or sod. It doesn’t accomplish deep grading but is good for moving light earth, or prepping for planting grass.

Loader Grading Attachments

If you have a loader on your tractor, chances are you have a bucket too. And you can always use that to grade. Adding a Tooth Bar to your bucket will greatly increase your ability to penetrate hardpan. 

We love the tooth bar from Heavy Hitch because it clamps on with Allen Screws with no drilling required.

4-N-1 Bucket

If you don’t have a bucket yet or want to upgrade your bucket, we strongly recommend a 4-N-1 Bucket. You can accomplish a lot more with this hydraulic bucket over a standard one. It opens and closes, making it good for digging, dozing, grading, and even grappling.

6-N-1 Bucket

IronCraft ups the ante from the 4-N-1 Bucket to the 6-N-1, which is the same design but includes a power rake, adding raking and sifting to the list of functions. But this is really a skid steer attachment due to the amount of hydraulic flow required, and tractors just don’t have enough. We just thought it was worth mentioning here.

How to Size Your Grading Attachment for Your Tractor

Generally speaking, you won’t ever get a bigger grading attachment than the width of your tractor. These attachments are used to pull material, and soil or gravel get incredibly heavy and can bog down your tractor if you use an oversized attachment.

The only exceptions could be a landscape rake or rear blade, which are often used at an angle to your tractor, allowing you to get away with a wider footprint. You’ll also often discharge material as you drive which decreases the load on your tractor.

Most of these tools listed are “dumb iron” which means there isn’t anything much to maintain or go wrong. The exception would be a tiller, which is driven by a gearbox, or the Upper-end Rear Blades, which have hydraulics.

Worry-Free Guarantee For Our Grading Attachments

There’s a lot to understand when it comes to tractors and attachments. If you need help picking an attachment for your tractor, email us prior to making a purchase, and we’ll give you our recommendation. We guarantee it will work for you.

If you have any other questions about our products and services, check out our FAQs here.


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Attachments for tractors - Good Works Tractors

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